SINGAPORE - Four Housing Board blocks in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 have been picked for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), the first such project announced since May 2018.
On Thursday (April 7), HDB announced the selection of Blocks 562 to 565, comprising 606 units, for redevelopment.
Completed in 1979, flats in these four blocks are around 43 years old, and comprise mainly three-room and four-room units.
There are also five five-room units and two executive flats in total across the four blocks. These units were converted from two adjoining three-room flats.
The site is the 82nd under the scheme and the fifth in Ang Mo Kio to be selected for Sers. Blocks 246 to 252 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 2, 3 and 4 were picked in 2006.
Sers, which began in 1995, involves demolishing old blocks, offering residents new units nearby and redeveloping the old site.
The last Sers project was in May 2018, where three blocks in MacPherson Lane were selected.
Flat owners of the 606 units in Ang Mo Kio will receive compensation based on the market value of their flats at the time of the Sers announcement. The market compensation is assessed by a professional private valuer appointed by HDB.
Owners will also receive a $10,000 removal allowance to defray moving expenses, and HDB will pay the stamp and legal fees for the purchase of a comparable replacement flat.
They will also be offered new replacement flats located in the nearby Ang Mo Kio Drive, next to ITE College Central. Units there will range from two-room flexi to four-room flats.
Property analysts said the plot of land that the four Ang Mo Kio blocks are sitting on appears to be underutilised and could potentially be redeveloped as Build-To-Order (BTO) projects, which may be why they were selected.
Ms Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at real estate firm OrangeTee & Tie, noted that the existing blocks are 13 storeys while the plot, under the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s master plan, allows for buildings up to 36 storeys.
PropNex Realty head of research and content Wong Siew Ying noted that the relatively large site has significant redevelopment potential.
“The selection of this Sers site is part of the government’s plans to renew the estate and inject more vibrancy to the neighbourhood by potentially adding more homes – bringing in more households and younger families – in the future,” she added.
Construction of the replacement flats in Ang Mo Kio Drive will commence in the third quarter of next year and is estimated to be completed by the third quarter of 2027.
Owners have the option of purchasing these replacement flats at the designated replacement site, which comes with a fresh 99-year lease, almost double the lease of the existing flats by the time they move out in end-2027.
Other rehousing benefits include a Sers grant of $15,000 for singles, or $30,000 for families and joint singles, if eligible, for the purchase of the replacement flat.
They can also select replacement flats together with their neighbours or relatives, to live near one another.
"In this way, Sers helps to preserve existing community ties by enabling residents to move en bloc to new replacement flats," said HDB.
Owners who do not wish to take up a new replacement flat can choose to sell their Sers flats with the rehousing benefits on the open market, said HDB.
"With the sales proceeds, which will include a premium for the rehousing benefits, they can buy a resale flat in their preferred location," the Board added.
Housewife Lin Hui Hua, 50, who had intended to live in her three-room flat in Block 565 for the rest of her life, said she is still on the fence about the announcement.
“The good thing is the new flat will have 99-year lease but it will be smaller than my current unit. I’m hoping the money from the sales can allow me to buy a four-room flat at the new site, so we can have a bigger living space,” said Madam Lin.
HDB said it will conduct door-to-door home visits to explain the scheme to each household and address concerns, along with an exhibition and sharing sessions for residents.
Precincts selected for Sers are chosen for their redevelopment potential where the land can be better utilised, said HDB.
Factors taken into account include the availability of suitable replacement sites and the Government’s financial resources.
Only about 5 per cent of all HDB flats are suitable for redevelopment under Sers and most of these projects with high redevelopment potential have already been announced.
To date, more than 41,000 households in 82 sites, including the current Ang Mo Kio site, have benefited from the scheme.